Written by: Aaron Hall | Best Company Editorial Team
Last Updated: February 24th, 2020
The older you get, the more likely you'll need someone to take care of you. This presents a slew of different challenges, even financial complications. You might ask yourself any number of questions: "Should I pay to stay in an assisted living home?" "What about my independence?" "What about a medical alert system?" "What are the benefits of that?" If you're not sure which option is right for you, here are a few important factors to consider:
Which Option Is More Cost Effective?
According to our research at BestCompany.com, top-rated medical alert companies typically charge a maximum of approximately $50/month for their most expensive programs. Some companies will occasionally charge an activation fee or equipment fee, but top-rated companies such as Medical Guardian and MobileHelp do away with those to give customers a consistent and affordable price.
In comparison, a nursing home is much more expensive. According to a study by MetLife in 2012, the average cost of a private room within a nursing home was $248/day! Now, there are less expensive options like assisted living and adult day care. According to similar studies, assisted living costs an average of $3,022/month and adult day care can be up to $100/day. It doesn't take a master's degree in mathematics to conclude that a medical alert system is more cost effective, but let's quantify this in order to put it in perspective. We've broken the comparison down for you in the following infographic:
When you compare the two programs, the obvious choice regarding cost is a medical alert system.
But Is It the Best Choice for Me?
That depends. Just because a medical alert system is far less expensive doesn't mean that it's the ideal choice for everyone. Nursing homes and assisted living homes will usually offer additional services such as housekeeping, meal prep, recreational activities, and on-site medical assistance. You won't get any of that from a medical alert system, except for a quick, on-hand response tool for medical emergencies. A medical alert system is recommended for an individual that still has the capacity to live independently.
Ultimately, this is up to you. Before you make a final decision, it's important to assess your health and independence needs, and also to shop around.